The Hot Seat: Effectively Channeling Your Multiple Passions

One Woman Shop's The Hot Seat

In this edition of The Hot Seat, we talk about what it means to be multipassionate in life and business, the limitations and benefits of being multipassionate, and how to effectively pursue several passions.

Show notes + resources:

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Multipassionate Muse: Jess Lively

Welcome to our Multipassionate Muse interview series, where we chat with self-described multipotentialites. Need a multipassionate crash course? Take a look on our terminology page and take the multipassionate quizToday we’re talking to Jess Lively, a writer and consultant who helps people live with intention. 

jess lively multipassionate

In your words, what is a multipotentialite/multipassionista?

I would describe a multipotentialite as someone who has many interests and talents that they want to include in their life or career. They don't feel the need to hone a specific skill at the exclusivity of other opportunities.

Describe your various passions and projects.

At the moment, I help people design lives and businesses with intention. This includes one-on-one consulting, live workshops, interior decor, brand direction, an ebook, and a business launch program.

Where did you first hear the term multipotentialite/multipassionista? Did it immediately resonate with you?

To be honest, I have never heard the terms multipotentialite/multipassionista before, but I have seen that Marie Forleo has talked about "multi-passionate" entrepreneurs for a while.

Though the terms themselves never really resonated with me, I totally fit the description to a T!

Looking back, would you say you've always been a multipotentialite (were you that kid running multiple businesses from your front yard?!)?

I definitely was one of those kids! I started my jewelry business at the age of 15 by accidentially selling ankle bracelets at a local pool. That very day, I decided to launch a jewelry business and little by little took a hobby and turned it into a part-time babysitting alternative.

By the time I graduated high school, my little jewelry line was carried in 12 stores and I was on my way to business school at the University of Michigan. After graduation, I took that same jewelry business full-time.

What is the biggest challenge of being a multipotentialite?

For me, lately, I am struggling to find a good balance between all that I am juggling. There are times when I am handling way more than is healthy for me.

In fact, my project manager a few weeks ago sent me an email encouraging me to take it easy because she knew all that I was juggling at once. And though I appreciated her concern, I thought she was crazy.... until I found myself on the verge of tears at a FedEx store exhausted and overworked on a Friday night. Needless to say, she was right.

Now, I'm working on being more selective about what I'm doing and learning to say no or to delay projects until I truly have enough time. It's not easy to wait on awesome ideas, but it is necessary for me to enjoy my career and my life.

What parts of living a multipotentialite lifestyle are the most rewarding?

The most rewarding thing is that I feel like I have a career that is truly made just for me! It includes all of my strengths and interests. Though it can be hard to explain at a dinner party, it is in many ways my dream career.

We hear a lot these days about side hustles, solopreneurs, and multipotentialites. Do you think it's a fad or the way of the future?

I believe that it is extremely popular at the moment, and in many ways can feel like a fad. On the other hand, I do believe that as people begin to ask for more from their careers and their lives, they will find new and creative ways to explore their interests. So in essence, it feels like a fad simply because it is new in contrast to the past few generations, but it will continue to mold and develop in the future in interesting new ways as Gen Y and Z make their mark in the workplace (editor's note: read more of Jess' thoughts on this in her post My Take on Whether Entrepreneurship is a Fad).

Any words of wisdom/warning for other multipotentialites?

Having just gone though a burnout phase after trying to do everything that I wanted all at once, I suggest exploring 2-3 things at any one time. In order make true progress, avoid burnout, and hone your skills, I think it is important to recognize our limitations as a single person or small team.

We can do everything we want throughout our lives but we cannot do it all at once. We need to look at this season in our lives and decide to intentionally focus on a few things at a time. We can later let those pursuits evolve into other new areas as our intuition advises.

Must-Haves for Multi-Passionate Business Owners

Are you someone with a lot of different passions and interests? Got several different projects on your plate? Hard to pigeonhole? We talk about being multipassionate a fair amount here, but we've been so excited to tell you about this bundle (which we bought last year)!

Multi-Passionate Must-Haves is bundle of 30 hand-picked products for multi-passionate people that's available for 72 hours total (from now until Thursday at midnight) for $97.

The details: 30 courses, audios and ebooks- valued at $2046.95 in total- that all focus on combining your multiple passions into your life and business.

The bundle includes:

    • 365 Writing and Blogging Prompts by April Bowles-Olin ($47 value)
    • Bewitch: Cast your Spell to Get the Customers You Crave by Kris Oster ($99 value)
    • Board of Your Life by Tanya Geisler ($150 value)
    • Brilliant Boundaries by Kylie Bellard ($27 value)
    • Business By Design by Megan Auman ($99 value)
    • The Digital Launch Playbook by Joel Zaslofsky ($67 value)
    • Easier Email by Cairene MacDonald ($67 value)
    • An Effective Escape by Michelle Ward ($9.95 value)
    • Energy Management 101 for Introverts by Tanja Gardner ($47 value)
    • Facebook for Artists by Cory Huff ($25 value)
    • The Fierce Love Course by Molly Mahar ($97 value)
    • Find your very own GPS readings by Sas Petherick ($142 value)
    • The Good to Know Project, Zines 1-5 by Amy Ng ($10 value)
    • How to Build a Blog You Truly Love by Liv Lane ($49 value)
    • How to Say No by Tiffany Han ($25 value)
    • Journal Yo Feelings Out by Jenipher Lyn ($15 value)
    • Journaling Your Awesome Future by Deb Cooperman ($15 value)
    • Launch Your First Profitable E-Course by Halley Gray ($97 value)
    • Life is Messy Planners by Mayi Carles ($40 value)
    • Marketing for Creatives by April Bowles Olin ($27 value)
    • Playshop in a Box by Melissa Dinwiddie ($37 value)
    • Playtime with your Inner Muse by Jennifer Lee ($27 value)
    • Power Play by Amanda Genther ($97 value)
    • The Purpose Paradigm by Laura Simms ($18 value)
    • Sex, Love, Liberation by Ev’Yan Whitney ($27 value)
    • The Soul Fire Code by Satya Colombo ($75 value)
    • Supporting Multipotentialite Kids by Emilie Wapnick ($27 value)
    • The Ultimate Virtual Retreat by Jen Louden ($198 value)
    • World-Changing Writers Workshop by Pace Smith ($297 value)
    • You Again Yoga by Caren Baginski ($89 value)

In addition, $10 from each sale is going to Michelle Ward’s team for the Avon 2-Day Breast Cancer Walk in NY. Michelle (known as the When I Grow Up Coach) was diagnosed with breast cancer in November 2011 and declared cancer-free in June 2012.

Ready to check it out and start kicking some multipassionate butt? Check it out.

P.S. If you don’t know what it means to be multi-passionate, or are unsure if you are one, take a look at this page and jump to the Q&A at the bottom.

We are affiliates of Multi-Passionate Must Haves. As always, we only promote products we think will benefit you and your business. 

Multipassionate Muse: Katja Hunter

Welcome to our Multipassionate Muse interview series, where we chat with self-described multipotentialites. Need a multipassionate crash course? Take a look on our terminology page and take the multipassionate quiz!

Today we're talking to Katja Hunter, who shares her thoughts and advice on being a multipassionista on her website.

katja hunter multipassionate

Describe your various passions and projects.

My overall passion is to help and celebrate women who wants to get off the main road, so to speak. Women who are making a difference by being true to themselves. My overall passion is to make multipassionate women/conceptual and divergent thinkers feel good about themselves.

Being multi-passionate myself, I've never fit into a specific box and I truly believe the new world (and economy) we live in, need us to see and create new connections and dots to move us forward. Both personally, spiritually and when it comes to how we do business.

The response I get from women who come across my site and see a match in themselves as multi-passionates is overwhelming and I feel a strong connection with them. So I'm in the process of creating a simple guide, on how you can use your brilliance to work your way to a free and meaningful life - whether you are in business or not. A kind of "mental karate for multi-passionates" if you like. How to create your own "mental oasis."

Because just like in karate, you have to know and respect a few rules before you enter the Dojo (use Dojo here as your own metaphor for online arena/business/life).

Where did you hear the term multipotentialite/multipassionista (or similar term)? Did it immediately resonate with you?

I first heard the expression "scanner" when I saw a Youtube video with Barbara Sher. I forget now what I was looking for, but I immediately related to what she was describing a scanner to be. It was fun to find out that I am a specific type of personality.

Looking back, would you say you've always been a multipotentialite (were you that kid running multiple businesses from your front yard)?

Yes, I believe it's part of our personality from early on and I've always felt different, for sure. I'm sure lots of people can relate to that. But I wasn't a child who sold cookies or toys on the street corner.

My dreams were of freedom to be me and what I had to do to get there and of travelling to America. I've been fascinated by America from about the age of 12. Maybe I've been an American in a previous life, who knows? 🙂

What is the biggest challenge of being multipotentialite?

The biggest challenge of being multipotentialite is when you don't know you are a multipotentialite! 'Cause when you know how you roll, you can ease up on yourself and dive into the wonderful world of you.

I don't see my life as a challenge, I see it as exciting and full of possibilities. And it's up to me to mold it how I see fit.

What parts of living a multipotentialite lifestyle are most rewarding?

I'm grateful for the way I view the world. I truly believe I can make anything possible, if I don't let my fear stop me. Your lifestyle is what your priorities are.

It's rewarding to live a passionate life. I go by what feels right and not what makes most sense and that's given me great experiences in my life so far.
When you are curious about something, you want to learn more about it and when you learn, you grow and it's when you grow, you feel you're living.

We hear a lot these days about side hustles, solopreneurs and multipotentialites. Do you think it's a fad or the way of the future?

Well, it's already part of the future. According to the number of one-man and one-woman businesses in the U.S. alone, has grown 28 percent over the past decade. I think we'll see a lot more small businesses and individuals making a difference. And because the internet is open to all, it becomes increasingly more difficult to cut through the noise, so being real and creative is essential. A lot more people will have day jobs and run businesses in their spare time. And people who are willing to do this are the ones to watch...

Any words of wisdom/warning for other multipotentialites?

My advice is simply to trust yourself. Sometimes a creative cul-de-sac can lead to clarity. Don't worry. You'll get to where you want to be, if you keep going. Your time is now. Live with gratitude! 🙂 Stay passionate.

Connect with Katja: Website // Twitter

Multipassionate Muse: Jaclyn Mullen

Welcome to our Multipassionate Muse interview series, where we chat with self-described multipotentialites. Need a multipassionate crash course? Take a look on our terminology page and take the multipassionate quiz!

Today we’re talking to Jaclyn Mullen, a performing artist turned entrepreneur who considers herself a bootstrapper, a connector, a marketer, and a soul searcher. 

jaclyn mullen multipassionate

Describe your various passions and projects for us

I love how I can use two of my favorite words in this answer: “various” and “projects.” First and foremost, my nickname/alias/whatever you want to call it has become “The Jaclyn of All Trades.” Day to day, I am a soloprenuer specializing in content creation and community building online. Some people would categorize that as social media while I like to define it a bit deeper. I am the voice & content creator for all of the brands that I manage/oversee. My job isn’t as easy as getting people solely to “Like our Facebook page," I really have to understand who we are targeting, what their interests are and I have to create/encourage brand loyalty and often awareness through the use of content that people will truly care about. These tasks are all done through my company,

Then we have my performing artist alter ego. I grew up singing and dancing so from time to time I take stand up comedy classes and perform or I host events in LA (mainly Pamper Me Fabulous or social media & female entrepreneurship inspired events). I am also an active philanthropist—giving back is another passion of mine. I serve on the Marketing Committee for Habitat for Humanity Greater Los Angeles and I also belong to Step Up Women’s Network—a 501(c)(3) that supports underserved girls.

Editor's note: we also support Habitat for Humanity!

Last but not least, I love to write, speak, mentor and teach so I am working on my brand and business called Startups and Stilettos™ which will help women bootstrap their businesses, save the world and still make time for the spa through in person and online workshops, an e-book and whatever else may unfold. In December of 2012, I built and launched a 4-week workshop centered around these very topics called “S & S You Camp." I hope to launch it formally to more women in the fall of 2013.

Where did you find hear the term multipotentialite/multipassionista? Did they immediately resonate with you?

The first time I actually heard a term or word to describe what I always knew to be my personality- multipassionista aka mogul- was in a blog post or video of Marie Forleo’s and that wasn’t too long ago- maybe a year ago. Considering I grew up in the performing arts but was also working by ninth grade and active in the marketing club, the term definitely resonated with me! It finally gave me the courage to accept and embrace my talents and sprinkle them within my business. Almost any single mogul you observe in our day and age can be considered multipassionate!

Looking back, would you say you've always been a multipotentialite (were you that kid running multiple businesses from your front yard?!)?

Oh yeah! I have always been curious by nature. As a performer, I think you are predisposed to being open to a number of ways to experience things. You explore a wide range of music genres, you may act, sing, dance. I grew up playing sports, participating in Girl Scouts, performing in plays- you name it, I did it! I distinctively remember when my father first purchased a VHS recorder and I would have him film me making infomercials! I was nine or ten. I was destined to deal with people, to explore different cultures and industries and topics! My mom’s parents were also a huge influence on me. They were Armenian by heritage, Romanian by nationality; they were jewelers, my grandmother sang, she sewed, my grandfather coached and played soccer. See where this is going? It’s in my genes!

What is the biggest challenge of being a multipotentialite?

I would say the biggest challenge of being a multipotentialite is that we are generally good multi-taskers/jugglers. Where that becomes an issue is in our inability to focus on one thing 100% because we get bored, impatient or just drawn to other things. I often have wondered where my business, brand and blog would be if I solely focused on cultivating and growing each of them without also taking on client work. However, my brand and business led me to this site, it led me to my clients and many friends and it’s opened up so many doors that I know everything will continue to unfold in due time.

In general, I see a lot of multipotentialite people give up way too soon! You can be multipassionate but you also have to be a multi-commitmentite too! It’s also a challenge for some multipotentialite people to be structured. Any sense of routine seems too predictable, confining and limiting. I knew that was a weakness of mine so I am strict about my working hours—there is no “flex” time for me from Monday through Thursday. I work for my clients from 9 to 5/6 so that I have daily consistency. I do allow myself to have Friday as a flex day where I can work on my projects.

What parts of living a multipotentialite lifestyle are the most rewarding?

Creation, creation, creation. No matter what it is I am working on, I am enhancing something, improving something, building something that never existed before or learning something. I can honestly say every day is an adventure for me because the possibilities and outcomes are endless. Another huge reward is utilizing my talents in various ways. I used to write song lyrics, now I write tweets and Facebook status updates! As much as I am a singer and dancer, I am visual too so I can put together photos for a brand based upon look and feel. I have really honed in on using my intuition and always going with my gut, which is empowering. There is also a freedom that comes along with exploring different industries, businesses, and brands. I often say I never have to leave my apartment because that’s how dynamic each day is! I have the world at my fingertips daily and I can’t say that would be the same if I only worked on one thing every single day.

We hear a lot these days about side hustles, solopreneurs, and multipotentialites. Do you think it's a fad or the way of the future?

As a solopreneur, I can assure you I don’t think it’s a fad at all. The more and more people I talk to, the more they share either a side hustle opportunity they are exploring or they ask me advice on tying all the elements of their passions and personality into a cohesive brand. The internet has opened up a huge stage for people to showcase how diverse their skill sets and talents are. I also think the internet has encouraged us to learn more technical skills than ever before so naturally people start uncovering more and more areas of themselves that they hadn’t known existed. Those areas- specifically tech, mobile phone usage, content creation- become passions!

Any words of wisdom/warning for other multipotentialites?

I would encourage multipotenialites to be easy on themselves. It can take some time to really, truly genuinely figure out what you want as a part of your income earning day-to-day activities versus what you want to pursue just to keep you from feeling bored with life. When I first started out, I was a blogger, a freelancer, an event marketer, a speaker and I loved fashion and music and entrepreneurship. It’s taken me close to 5-6 years of personal development, soul searching and a process of elimination to finally create a hybrid business that utilizes my passions and talents and allows me to make money without feeling drained every day. Transformation doesn’t happen over night! Back when I was doing background acting work in LA, I learned that the hours were longer than my corporate job and you did a lot of waiting around. I decided waiting around was not the pace for me. I am go, go, go. So by process of elimination, patience and a willingness to try TV acting, I found out it wasn’t for me and that I am much better suited in the digital arena where I can create the content. I have worked in real estate, HR Consulting, radio, online media, and stand up comedy. I would advise people to keep an open mind and explore the things you are curious about while also remembering that time flies by so you will want to corral a few of your talents into one arena to earn a living for yourself and make money so you can enjoy your life and celebrate the results and efforts from all your hard work! As an entrepreneur, I am big on the “make sure you are making money” aspect of this because I personally missed out on this in my twenties! And when you’re past your twenties, hindsight is 20-20 (I’m only two years past but still) 🙂

Questions for Jaclyn? Leave them in the comments!

P.S. Loved Jaclyn's insights on being multipassionate? Share this interview on Twitter!

Multipassionate Muse: Jennifer Blanchard

Welcome to our Multipassionista Interview Series, where we chat with self-described multipotentialites. Need a multipassionista crash course? Visit our quiz + resource page! Today we're chatting with Jennifer Blanchard, who helps entrepreneurs take their books from idea to draft in 90 days.

jennifer blanchard multipassionate

Describe your various passions and projects

Oh God, this could take a while... my primary passions/projects are: writing, coaching, creativity and food. My detailed passions that fall under those four categories include: writing books, blogging, book coaching, writing coaching, teaching workshops, holistic health, farmer's markets, cooking, hanging out with my dog, music, fashion, crafting, designing, organizing, marketing, social media... and probably a lot more passions/projects to come.

Where did you find hear the term multipotentialite/multipassionista? Did it immediately resonate with you?

I first heard the term when I read a guest post on by Emilie Wapnick. I was intrigued and followed the link in her bio, which took me to Puttylike. Immediately multipotentialite stuck with me. It was like suddenly light was being shined and I realized that it was OK to be a person with multiple passions, skill sets and interests.I used to think there was something wrong with me, so for most of my life I tried to mold myself into being just one thing... and it never worked no matter how hard I tried. Now I understand and accept that I'm not meant to do only one thing.

Looking back, would you say you've always been a multipotentialite (were you that kid running multiple businesses from your front yard?!)?

YES! Totally! It's weird how you don't see it at first, but as soon as I discovered Puttylike I started looking back on my life and thinking about my multipotentialite history... everything from writing short stories and poems to having a handmade craft business with my neighbor to creating a neighborhood newsletter so we could all get to know each other. I had dreams of being a cartoonist, a video game designer, an actor, a model, a clothing designer, an accessories designer... I may just do some of that eventually.

What is the biggest challenge of being a multipotentialite? 

Focusing and finishing! It's easy to have ten different projects going on. It's not so easy to finish ten different projects.

What parts of living a multipotentialite lifestyle are the most rewarding?  

Getting to do all the things I love and am interested in (a lot of which I also get paid for!), and never having to do or be just one thing. Best. Reward. Ever.

We hear a lot these days about side hustles, solopreneurs, and multipotentialites. Do you think it's a fad or the way of the future? 

It's definitely the future. More and more people are realizing that it's OK to be creative and to explore all the different parts of themselves, and that it's OK to make money from doing what you're good at.

Any words of wisdom/warning for other multipotentialites? 

You are perfect exactly as you are. Multipotentialism is an amazing gift; use it to create the life of your dreams.

Any questions for Jennifer? Ask them in the comments!

P.S. Loved Jennifer's insights on being a multipassionate? Share this interview on Twitter!

Multipassionate Muse: Stephenie Zamora

Welcome to our Multipassionate Muse interview series, where we chat with self-described multipotentialites. Need a multipassionate crash course? Take a look on our terminology page and take the multipassionate quiz!

Today we’re talking to Stephenie Zamora, a life coach + lifestyle expert who helps unconventional women transcend “the quarter-life crisis” by translating their passions into profitable online businesses. 

multipassionate muse stephenie zamora.jpg

Describe your various passions and projects.

I'm incredibly passionate about personal responsibility, something I believe has the power to completely change our world for the better. I'm also passionate about branding, design, online marketing, writing, mixed media art, spirituality, learning new things, traveling, personal development, and health/wellness. As for projects... I currently focus most of my time on where I coach women in their 20s and 30s through the quarter-life crisis. I help them to rediscover themselves, find their passion, and build a life and business around it. I also have some other projects in the works, including, a nonprofit focused on teaching and inspiring personal responsibility, and a couple other businesses that are in the startup phase.

Where did you first hear the term multipotentialite/multipassionista (or similar terms)? Did it immediately resonate with you?

I originally learned about this idea from Barbara Sher's book, Refuse to Choose. She talks about having more than one interest and uses the term "scanners" to describe people like us. It was a very eye-opening read for me and absolutely resonated with what I was feeling and experiencing at the time.

Looking back, would you say you've always been a multipotentialite (were you that kid running multiple businesses from your front yard?!)?

Absolutely! I loved to come up with school and lesson plans for my toys, be artsy and creative, play imaginary games outside, sell lemonade at garage sales, read and do many other things. Over the years I wanted to be many things as well! An artist, writer, fashion designer, teacher, nurse or engineer (like my parents), actress and the first female pitcher on a male baseball team!

What is the biggest challenge of being a multipotentialite?

Knowing how and where to focus your time and energy. With so many passions, projects and ideas, it can be hard to build something that's sustainable and fulfilling. I've found that uncovering your "overarching theme" or the big WHY behind everything that you love helps create some form of focus for us multipassionistas. Behind my why is a belief that personal responsibility has the power to change the world, creation and self expression, and connection with others. I can now see how everything I do and want to create falls under this big why.

What parts of living a multipotentialite lifestyle are the most rewarding?

There's always something new and exciting to work on or learn! New ideas, new hobbies... we're not boxed in to a certain lifestyle or mindset. I love my curiosity and that I can take interest in a number of things. For example, my boyfriend is a woodworker and, while I have no interest in becoming one, I'm fascinated by it and excited to build some of my own things. Just because. 🙂

We hear a lot these days about side hustles, solopreneurs, and multipotentialites. Do you think it's a fad or the way of the future?

I don't think it's a fad... it's definitely the way of the future, but not for everyone. There's so much possibility and opportunity for creating really unique businesses, offerings and models. I've managed to combine many of my passions into one business and am excited about bringing in more mixed media art in the near future. We have the advantage of creating something really unique and unlike anything else out there.

Any words of wisdom/warning for other multipotentialites?

Don't get down on yourself for the way you are. I highly recommend Simon Sinek's book, Start With Why. Uncover what's at the heart of everything you love. What drives you? Is it connection? Creating? Expression? Knowledge? Use this to create a clear why behind everything that you do and you'll begin to see how it all plays together. But also, don't try to force it all into one thing. Some passions are best as hobbies, others are great for building businesses or careers around.

Questions for Stephenie? Leave them in the comments!

P.S. Loved Stephenie's insights on being multipassionate? Share this interview on Twitter! 

Business Myth: You Have to Pick a Niche

One Woman Shop business myths

Welcome to Business Myths. Here's the deal: we often hear business "truths" and accept them as true without stopping to question them. We're chatting with solopreneurs and freelancers who have learned the hard way that these commonly accepted facts may not, in fact, always be true. In this case, Carlana shares the story of how she learned the hard way that focusing in on a niche isn't for everyone. 

Give us a bit of background on your business

It’s 2010 and my virtual assistance practice is all I dreamed it would be. Things were so great that I occasionally found myself in the position of being able to turn away work. It seemed like all the hard work I had put in since I started in 2007 was netting great results. I was happy, business was thriving and I kept busy with a range of marketing and business support services I was offering.

Sounds great...what happened then?

As a consummate learner, I was on so many lists and following so many people that at times the message was conflicting and quite confusing. Then I listened to a webinar with a marketer that I greatly admired; this marketer was advocating niching. She felt that it was the best way to grow your business and preserve your sanity. Hmm….. It seemed as of late, everyone was talking about niching. Maybe the universe was sending me a signal? I was spread a bit thin at times providing a range of complementary marketing services when most people seemed to be focusing on just one area. I spoke with other colleagues who had decided to niche after years of being what at that time seemed to be a dirty title- a Generalist VA. They felt that it was the best thing they could have ever done for their business.

So you decided to pick a niche?

I mulled it over and thought that niching was probably the best thing to do. After all, if others were succeeding at it, why wouldn’t I? I released some clients from their contracts, stopped taking on certain work and just focused on a specific niche.

And then I saw my business take a terrible tumble. You see, it never dawned on me at the time to follow my gut or do what I felt was right for MY business. Everyone was advocating niching because some felt that it appealed to clients who liked to work with someone that had mastery in certain skills and felt that a Jill-of-all-Trades Virtual Assistant really did not bring value to their business. I never stopped to consider the fact that my clients loved having their entire needs met under one roof- apparently they never got the niching memo.

I struggled for almost a year in my niche. I felt very lost and frustrated. The clients were coming but oftentimes they were not my ideal client. I felt like the joy was being sucked out of my business. I mean, I was supposed to be doing what the experts advocated and it should be working. The sad reality is that I failed to look at so many factors that went into making such as drastic move. It’s almost embarrassing now when I consider just how naïve I was to not carefully consider such a move.

Oh yikes! So what did you learn and how did you turn your business around?

Now I know that niching is not cracked up to be all that it’s supposed to, at least for me. After struggling and being unhappy with my business for almost a year, I decided I needed to have a second look at what went wrong in my business. They say tough times call for tough measures and I took some tough ones. First, I took my website offline for almost 5 months. Not having to look at it helped to clearly catch a vision of the type of business I wanted to re-launch. Secondly, I stopped listening to every guru and pundit in the blogosphere. I started unsubscribing in droves from lists I had been following and stopped buying so many business books.  It was time to shut out a lot of the noise and messages and listen to my inner voice. I was confident that I had the skills, the savvy and the know-how to reinvent my business again and I promised this time I would do it my way. I’m not saying that I don’t take advice or consider the contributions of others, but I don’t have to take them on board.

Great advice. So how are things now?

Fast forward 2 years and I have managed to rebuild my business to something I am proud of and that is distinctly me. I seriously just follow my own rules. I don’t tweet or do social media as everyone advocates or thinks I should considering the services I offer but I spend my times in online communities where I prove my value and consequently find clients. I don’t blog unless I have something I feel worth sharing. I just do ‘me’ now and I have found it works even better than before my big crash. I’m blessed that I am in a position to work with people who I feel are a good fit for me while embracing my various skills and passions. The fact is I am a multipassionista. I have many passions and interests and they often cross over in the work I do and the services I offer my clients. What I discounted is the fact that many clients appreciate a multi-pronged approach to their business. They don’t want to hire a specialist for each and everything and they are happy to not have a specific label for me, rather choosing to see me more in a partner role.

Carlana charles virtual assistantCarlana Charles is the Principal of, a virtual assistance practice that provides a range of marketing and business support services as well as freelance writing and blogging. You can find her on TwitterFacebook, her business hub or her book review blog.

Multipassionate Muse: Sarah Von Bargen

Welcome to our Multipassionate Muse interview series, where we chat with self-described multipotentialites. Need a multipassionate crash course? Take a look on our terminology page and take the multipassionate quiz!

Today we're talking to Sarah Von Bargen of Yes and Yes (and other businesses and interests, of course!).

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Describe your various passions and projects.

Gosh!  Well, in my non-professional life, I'm passionate about travel, throwing and attending partiestrying new things, and, um, anthropomorphism.

In my professional life, I'm passionate about sharing people's stories, writing words that make people excited, helping women find the courage to travel solo, helping small businesses and entrepreneurs make a name for themselves on the internet.

Also: I'm pretty passionate about cheese.

Where did you first hear the term multipotentialite/multipassionate (or similar terms)? Did it immediately resonate with you?

I think I might have first heard it used by Danielle LaPorte?  I remember thinking "Hey!  That's me!" .... and then immediately returning to the 75 other tasks I was working on at the same time.

Looking back, would you say you've always been a multipotentialite (were you that kid running multiple businesses from your front yard?!)?

I'm not sure that I was!  I always excelled at reading/writing/storytelling/organizing but I was/am the type of person who only wants to do things they're innately good at.  Trying new things and opening myself up to failure didn't come naturally to me.  But once I got to college and was forced to try new things, I think I really started to branch out.

What is the biggest challenge of being a multipotentialite?

Realizing that you shouldn't/can't do every project that you dream up AND that you should really just focus on once thing at a time.  I've got three projects in the air right now and it's a constant struggle to work on them one at a time.  I JUST WANT TO HAVE 26 TABS OPEN AT ALL TIMES.

What parts of living a multipotentialite lifestyle are the most rewarding?

Making peace with your abilities and interests.  Just because you like A doesn't mean you can't like B and just because you're good at C doesn't mean you have to do it full time.  I think it's really healthy paradigm shift.

We hear a lot these days about side hustles, solopreneurs, and multipotentialites. Do you think it's a fad or the way of the future?

I think multipotentialites have existed all along, we just failed to recognize them!  There are tons of talented people throughout history who excelled in really diverse areas of life - Forpetessake, Da Vinci was a painter, sculptor, architect, musician, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist, and writer.  I don't think it's a fad, I think it's reality 😉

Any words of wisdom/warning for other multipotentialites?

I think multipotentialites frequently get a bad name because people think we're 'flakey' or 'flighty.'  When you've got a new idea that you're working on, I'd suggest keeping it to yourself and fleshing it out a bit before you share it with any non-multipotentialite friends or family members.  You don't want them to great everything you say with eyerolls and 'Here she goes again!' commentary.

sarah von bargen multipotentialite P.S. Loved Sarah's insights on being a multipassionate? Share this interview on Twitter!